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    #1

    ......in which man's feelings seemed to give him no foothold at all.

    The fundamentalists returned to an authoritarian religion in which the slightest act must be regulated. They gave release, and they are giving release, to the emotions, and are thus rebelling against scientific intellectualism. They will see the world in black and-white terms again, with good and evil clearly delineated in the most simplistic terms, and thus escape a slippery, thematic universe, in which man's feelings seemed to give him no foothold at all.

    My question is in the last sentence:
    in which man's feelings seemed to give him no foothold at all.
    Does the word “him” here refer to “man” or the fundamentalist mentioned before?
    And what does the sentence mean?

    I could give you the context for better understanding:
    The latest growth of fundamentalist religion has arisen as a countermeasure against the theories of evolution. You have, then, an overcompensation, for in the Darwinian5 world there was no meaning and no laws. There were no standards of right or wrong, so that large portions of the people felt rootless.


    The fundamentalists returned to an authoritarian religion in which the slightest act must be regulated. They gave release, and they are giving release, to the emotions, and are thus rebelling against scientific intellectualism. They will see the world in black and-white terms again, with good and evil clearly delineated in the most simplistic terms, and thus escape a slippery, thematic universe, in which man's feelings seemed to give him no foothold at all.

    Unfortunately, the fundamentalists accept literal interpretations of intuitive realities in such a way that they further narrow the channels through which their psychic abilities can flow. The fundamental framework, in this period of time, for all of its fervor, is not rich -for example Christianity was in the past, with its numerous saints, his instead a fanatical Puritan vein, peculiarly American in character, and restrictive rather than expansive, for the bursts of emotion are highly structured — that is, the emotions are limited in most areas of life, permitted only an explosive religious expression under certain conditions, when they are not so much spontaneously expressed as suddenly released from the dam of usual repression.



  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: ......in which man's feelings seemed to give him no foothold at all.

    "My question is in the last sentence:
    in which man's feelings seemed to give him no foothold at all."

    It might mean mankind's or humanity's feelings, or it might be a small error in trying to say a man's feelings (better put as a person's feelings). That is the grammar and usage of it. But in any case the import is the same: fundamentalists' beliefs give them no traction or assistance at all.

    They hate the idea that science, while never absolutely and finally correct, is right to the extent that it represents the best sum of our current knowledge. They want to return to an earlier ideology in which how people feel about things is at least as important as what science currently says, if not more so.

    This fight centres on evolution, which current science believes to be correct almost beyond doubt. Fundamentalists hope that the fact they feel science is incorrect in this context can change some political realities.

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